Sunday, September 07, 2008

From The Party That Complains About McCarthy

Nick Cohen analyzes the past week's stoning in the Sunday Observer (U.K.):
[I]nstead of protecting their precious advantage, [American Democrats] succumbed to a spasm of hatred and threw the vase, the crockery, the cutlery and the kitchen sink at an obscure politician from Alaska.

For once, the postmodern theories so many of them were taught at university are a help to the rest of us. As a Christian, conservative anti-abortionist who proved her support for the Iraq War by sending her son to fight in it, Sarah Palin was 'the other' -- the threatening alien presence they defined themselves against. They might have soberly examined her reputation as an opponent of political corruption to see if she was truly the reformer she claimed to be. They might have gently mocked her idiotic creationism, while carefully avoiding all discussion of the racist conspiracy theories of Barack Obama's church.

But instead of following a measured strategy, they went berserk. On the one hand, the media treated her as a sex object. The New York Times led the way in painting Palin as a glamour-puss in go-go boots you were more likely to find in an Anchorage lap-dancing club than the Alaska governor's office.

On the other, liberal journalists turned her family into an object of sexual disgust: inbred rednecks who had stumbled out of Deliverance. Palin was meant to be pretending that a handicapped baby girl was her child when really it was her wanton teenage daughter's. When that turned out to be a lie, the media replaced it with prurient coverage of her teenage daughter, who was, after all, pregnant, even though her mother was not going to do a quick handover at the maternity ward and act as if the child was hers.

Hatred is the most powerful emotion in politics. At present, American liberals are not fighting for an Obama presidency. I suspect that most have only the haziest idea of what it would mean for their country. The slogans that move their hearts and stir their souls are directed against their enemies: Bush, the neo-cons, the religious right. . .

In an age when politics is choreographed, voters watch out for the moments when the public-relations facade breaks down and venom pours through the cracks. Their judgment is rarely favourable when it does.
See also Jack Kelly in today's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
"You arrogant ass. You've killed us!" So said the executive officer of a Soviet submarine to his captain in Tom Clancy's novel "Red October" after the captain had recklessly fired a torpedo that homed in on his own sub.

NBC's David Gregory must have had similar thoughts as he noted, ruefully, that the news media's assault on Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin boosted substantially the television audience for her acceptance speech Wednesday night.

No friend of Barack Obama -- and the last week has demonstrated he has no better, nor more unscrupulous, friends than those in the news media -- can be happy about that.

Journalists last week cast aside the mask of objectivity to reveal they are so deeply in the tank for Mr. Obama most have grown gills. For six days, Sarah Palin and her family were subjected to a relentless barrage of innuendo. Journalists were trying to "define" her before she had an opportunity to introduce herself to the people in the lower 48. She was portrayed as an ignorant redneck from a hick town who should be home caring for her children instead of running for high public office.

Then Sarah Palin got her opportunity to speak, and her enemies learned firsthand why her nickname is "Sarah Barracuda."
(via reader Doug J.)


Assistant Village Idiot said...

We on the Right are tending to think of her as sweeter than I think she is. She's not afraid to fire people. She seems to get into arguments with folks. I see these things as a positive myself, but I don't know how it will play electorally. So far so good.

I, who object to people finding sexism under every rug, nonetheless think that sexism is part of this. Democrats thought Hillary was a bitch and many went against her. I think it's her best quality, and I hope to see more of same from Gov. Palin - perhaps after the election.

Geoffrey Britain said...


Think Margaret Thatcher. Thatcher had no problem firing people either. But they called her the Iron Lady NOT the 'Iron B***h'...

And Palin has a history of first extending the offer; that other's may adopt the stance of the 'LOYAL opposition' before she fires the recalcitrant or incompetent.

She offered another position to the official who wouldn't terminate the Trooper, the cop who had made death threats against the Governor's family...

OBloodyHell said...

> Democrats thought Hillary was a bitch and many went against her.

AVI, as I've commented in another thread -- Hillary IS a bitch. She's shrill, petty, and selfishly demanding. Demeaning and dismissive to her subordinates, she expects utter obediance, sevile abasement, and psychophantic adoration from them. She has no grasp of either Noblesse Oblige or any of the other responsibilities that come attached to power. Such ideas are utterly unknown to her. She is, literally, a tin-plated, two-bit dictator with delusions of godhood.

My impression, based on a limited data set, is that NONE of these qualities applies to Palin. She can be hard, but seems to also have a sense of decency and honor. She can make tough decisions, but also accepts the responsibilities for the consequences, and the need to be consistent in principle and application, even when it applies to her. She stands by those principles even with they stand to cost her, either potentially (going against encumbent party members) or personally (choosing not to abort Trig).

When Palin found herself at odds with a direct subordinate, she offered him a face-saving out that shifted him sideways. Do you see Hillary doing this? I think Hillary would try and rip his cojones off for daring to challenge her. That's the difference between a bitch and Sarah Palin.

In other words, the qualities which mark Hillary as a bitch are NOT present in Palin, AFAICS, and, I'd lay odds, are NOT the ones you want to see in Palin. I think (your) confusion about them is one of the chief problems with female executives. Few of them, in my observation, manage to grasp the difference between the necessary exercise of power and a gratuitous exercise of power. Between appearing weak and being gratious in victory.

Consider that, sirrah.

Carl said...

Like AVI, I don't approve of Palin because she's sweet. Like Geoffrey and OBH, I think she has many of the qualities we need. But I do agree that a certain level of "bitchiness" is a positive.

OBloodyHell said...

> But I do agree that a certain level of "bitchiness" is a positive.

Bitchiness is a bad word. Just as we needed a word for "misandry" to become wider known, there needs to be a word for the good qualities you guys are associating with "bitch" (strength, hard decisionmaking) but without the negative qualities which also go along with it (petty, small minded, narcisistic), and with the good qualities for a leader (magnanimity, consideration, graciousness).

Palin appears to be an example of this (I have yet to see any evidence to support the "bitch" terminology once we exclude the Hillary elements from it). She appears to be proof that a woman can be powerful and in-charge yet not "A Bitch".

There needs to be another word for that.

OBloodyHell said...

P.S. AVI brings up a related notion Here.

Was Emma Peel a "bitch"?

Assistant Village Idiot said...

OBH, was Emma Peel a bitch? Hehehehe. No, but I'm sure she got called that by a lot of defeated enemies.

Anonymous said...

Palin is against teaching sex education and against abortion. Given the facts that she and her daughter had sex outside of marriage and became pregnant by that, you'd think Palin herself and her daughter could have used a better education in sex. What's wrong with sex education in schools? Would you prefer a bunch of unwanted, out-of-wedlock babies from kids who never learned how to handle sex and its consequences?